Over the weekend, I went apple picking with my family. It was a lovely day filled with fantastic weather and a great bonding opportunity for the family.
We visited Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, CA, about 1 1/2 hours from my hometown in Northern California. It was quite the journey through a very scenic mountain route and provided a great family outing with a heavy does of nature.
When we lived in NY, before 2013, we often went apple picking near our home in Westchester County, and as a fall family tradition, we would make delicious pies with our stash. Since moving to California, we’ve only gone apple picking twice. However, we’ve still kept the tradition of making delicious pies in the fall.
Growing up in Dominica, apple wasn’t a fruit that we ate often. Although I read about it in books and magazines and saw it regularly on television, it remained a “special treat” throughout my childhood. My parents would purchase apples during the Christmas season in Roseau (when the stores received apple shipment from abroad), and this would be a clear sign that we’ll have a great Christmas. We didn’t make pies or any other delicious desserts. Instead, we enjoyed our sweet apples with nothing added, simply natural.
When I migrated to North America, I was introduced to apple pie and found that I loved the taste of the filling juxtaposition with the flaky crust.
Over the years, I’ve rarely created my crust and have used store-bought ones instead. They’re just easier to work with, less intimidating, and super convenient. So even though I have a great pie crust recipe, I tend to gravitate to using Pilsburry homemade pie crusts more frequently. This weekend was no different.
We had a very productive day at the farm, and we brought home quite a few gala apples. They were sweet and crisp— how I like them. Since mid to end of September is the beginning of the season, the trees were loaded. We were able to pick four varieties, but we stuck to gala, one of our favorites.
As usual, the kids wanted to make apple pie. So I decided to make this very fun twist on standard apple pie—apple pie pops. What is apple pie pops, you ask? They are mini apple pies on lollipop sticks. They’re not only cute but an excellent way for the kids to have their personal pies.
Here’s how I made them:
How to make delicious apple pie pops
- Rolling Pin
- baking rack
- food processor
For pie crust
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter very cold
- 1 Table spoon shortening very cold
- ¼ cup ice water
For apple pie pops filling
- 1 pound apples peeled cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp lemon juice
- coarse sugar for topping
- 1 egg for whitewash
- 2 tsp water
- lollipop sticks
Instructions for crust
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor bowl. Mix using the pulse setting.
- Add butter and shortening and pulse about 10 -12 times until the texture is changed to small pebbles.
- Add ¾ of the ice water and pulse a few more times until the dough takes the shape of a ball. Add more water as needed. Don't overmix. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely blended. You will use your rolling pin to finish creating the crust.
- Place dough ball onto the counter and flatten into a flat disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Instructions for pie filling
- Heat butter over medium heat, until just golden brown
- Add brown sugar, spices, salt and lemon juice. Stir to combine ingredients
- Add diced apples and stir.
- Allow apples to cook for about 5-7 minutes, over medium heat
- Remove from heat and let the apple mixture cool. You can place apples in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
- Mix egg and water for an egg wash.
- Roll out pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
- Cut out rounds of 2 ½ to 3 inches and place them on parchment paper. You will need to roll out the extra dough left over scraps from cutting.
- In half of the rounds, cut out shapes or holes for ventilation purposes
- On the other half of the rounds, gently press one lollipop stick about halfway up each round.
- Place one tablespoon of apple mixture in the center of each round.
- Place each round on top of apples seal the edges.
- Brush each pie pop with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.